The Miami Dolphins went into the draft looking to infuse some toughness into their team and it seems they have succeeded in doing so in spades.
“They just want tough guys,” said safety Jordan Lucas, the sixth-round pick from Penn State. “If you look at our whole draft class, they want tough guys.”
Led by Team Executive Mike Tannenbaum, GM Chris Grier and Head Coach Adam Gase, the franchise got exactly what they were looking for from rounds one through seven.
Round One: Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil – “This is a guy, he loves football,” Grier said of Tunsil. “This is guy that’s ultra-competitive when you watch him play. This is a different situation from that [of Jordan]. This guy is different.”
Round Two: Baylor CB Xavian Howard – Howard has the prototypical body for a cornerback and the Fins are thinking that he will be able to step up and start opposite Byron Maxwell.
Round Three: Alabama RB Kenyon Drake – a good route runner that can catch out of the backfield and is a good third down back. His injuries may cause some concern early but GM Chris Grier said his medicals were fine. “He’s been to the combine, and the doctors have done the whole work up on him,” Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said. “I always tell the story, I was in New England when we took Curtis Martin. And everyone said, ‘Why are you guys taking Curtis Martin, he’s always hurt and never made it.’ Curtis, the year he came out as a junior, he only played two games. So Curtis has gone on to be a Hall of Famer.”
Round Three: Rutgers WR Leonte Carroo – While receivers were not high on the draft board, the Dolphins pulled the trigger on the Rutgers product and traded up to get him at 86. Grier calls him another “alpha personality” and can’t help but compare him to Anquin Bolden and Marvin Harrison.
Round Six: Texas Tech WR Jakeem Grant – While Grant is small for the position at 5’6″ he is also famous for saying “you can’t hit what you can’t catch.”
Round Six: Penn State S/CB Jordan Lucas – The Dolphins came into the draft with the corner position the most urgent on defense. They shored up with round two selection Xavian Howard and Lucas will help in press coverage for the team.
Round Seven: Western Kentucky QB Brandon Doughty – Another “alpha” who the team expects to be a formidable competitor. “He has a presence about him. He has a swagger about him,” Dolphins head coach Adam Gase said. “He’s very confident. … The numbers he put up in college and being part of a winner, I love that fact about him. I feel like we have a guy that’s going to come in here, he’s going to work to get better and he’s going compete with those guys. And that’s all we want.”
Round Seven: UCLA WR Thomas Duarte – A long shot to make the team unless he can find a spot on Special Teams, He is tall at 6’2″ and completed the 40 in 4.6 seconds.
The Dolphins kick off the preseason on the road against the New York Jets. That game is followed by another road game against the Dallas Cowboys before they return to Miami for a home game against the Atlanta Falcons. Tickets for all preseason and regular season games are available so be sure to get yours today and help cheer on your Dolphins!